Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced the establishment of a start-up company called Intrinsic, which will focus on developing software for industrial robots. This subsidiary will become one of Alphabet’s “other bets”: a speculative company focusing on new technologies such as Waymo (self-driving cars). Wing (delivery drone) and Verily (health and biotechnology).
The details of what Intrinsic creates or the type of its customers are unclear. The company’s new CEO, Wendy Tan White says it will “unlock the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers” by creating software that will make industrial robots “easier to use, less costly, and more flexible.”
Robotics has been Google’s obsession for many years, but the company’s efforts have not been focused and have not yet achieved commercial success. In 2013, Google started buying robots and acquired 7 companies in about six months, including Schaft (a Japanese company known for its bipedal robots), Bot and Dolly (creator of cool videos), and Boston Dynamics company.
The project is called the “replicator” and is led by Android mobile device co-founder Andy Rubin. However, there has been no news about Replicant for many years, and Google has sold or closed most of its acquisitions. why? This is partly because robots are difficult to manufacture and expensive, and because Rubin left the company, is accused of sexual misconduct in 2014 (Google made it confidential).
After the failure of Replicant, the company focused more on software and used machine learning to teach robots to interact with objects without direct control. This is advantageous for Google, and of course, it will become the focus of Intrinsic in the future.
“Over the last few years, our team has been exploring how to give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they’re completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications,” Tan White said. “[W]e’ve been testing software that uses techniques like automated perception, deep learning, reinforcement learning, motion planning, simulation, and force control.”
Besides, we really don’t know. However, it is worth noting that this is not the only development of Google in the field of robotics. In 2019, the company announced the “daily robot” project, which caused a sensation. The project is located in the X company’s technology incubator and aims to create a “general-purpose learning robot”. It is not clear what became of this project. Maybe Intrinsic will be more fortunate to keep Google’s attention.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced the establishment of a start-up company called Intrinsic, which will focus on developing software for industrial robots. However, it is worth noting that this is not the only development of Google in the field of robotics. The project is located in the X company’s technology incubator and aims to create a “general-purpose learning robot”.